Alice Berger and Kim Norris

Award to fund genome sequencing on lung tumors present in feminine ‘never-smokers’

Dr. Alice Berger, a translational researcher at Fred Hutchinson Most cancers Analysis Heart, has obtained a $200,000, two-year award — the Lori Monroe Scholarship for Lung Most cancers Analysis — to advance her scientific give attention to the genetics of lung most cancers in ladies who’ve by no means smoked.
She’s going to use the scholarship, funded by the Lung Most cancers Basis of America and the Worldwide Affiliation for the Examine of Lung Most cancers, to carry out genome sequencing on lung tumors present in ladies with no historical past of smoking who participated within the Ladies’s Well being Initiative. The WHI, coordinated by Fred Hutch, is among the largest U.S. prevention research of its type, involving greater than 161,000 ladies.
Berger will conduct the analysis in collaboration with Dr. Garnet Anderson, principal investigator of the WHI Scientific Coordinating Heart, senior vp and director of the Public Well being Sciences Division and Fred Hutch 40th Anniversary Endowed Chair.
In accordance with Berger, earlier genetic research of lung most cancers have targeted primarily on tumors from individuals with a historical past of smoking; the most important research of never-smokers thus far has included solely 33 members.
“In the small number of tumors from never-smokers who have been profiled, we can see that the genetic changes in never-smokers are very different from that of smokers,” stated Berger, a researcher within the Hutch’s Human Biology and Public Well being Sciences divisions.
“The goal of this project is to identify new potential drug targets in lung cancer and to better understand the etiology of lung cancer in patients without a smoking history,” she stated.
Over the course of the WHI research, greater than three,600 ladies developed lung most cancers, together with 583 who had by no means smoked. By learning genetic alterations in lung-tumor tissue from 110 never-smokers within the WHI cohort, Berger goals to extend the variety of such sequenced tumors greater than three-fold.
“The WHI provides an uncommon and possibly unique opportunity to study the genetic determinants of lung cancer among never-smokers,” Anderson stated. “The size of the resource and the strength of the WHI database, which includes detailed information about smoking history and other exposures, offer an opportunity for the WHI to make a timely and significant contribution to our knowledge of lung cancer in the subset of individuals for whom the cause is often a mystery.”
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